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New Normal, An Artist-Inspired Brewery and Taproom, Headed to Temescal

It'll be equal parts beer garden and gallery.

Temescal's 40th Street corridor has been on fire of late, with newcomers like The Hog's Apothecary, Clove and Hoof, Homeroom To Go, and more breathing new life into the area around the MacArthur BART station. Now, they'll be adding a brewery and taproom to their ranks: New Normal, from longtime homebrewer and Certified Cicerone Sam Gilbert. Located at 4115 Telegraph (at 41st), the upstart brewery is building its reputation around collaboration with Oakland artists, whose work will cover everything from the walls to the labels to the glassware.

Gilbert, a former researcher and Web developer who's also moonlighted as a line cook, began his love affair with homebrewing seven years ago, and was one of the founders of homebrew collective Brewlab SF, which he ran out of his former home in the Mission. [Full disclosure: your humble Eater editor was a Brewlab member.] While he's developed all of New Normal's recipes thus far, he's looking to hire a full-time head brewer to run the operation closer to the bar's opening date. As for the beers, Gilbert says he's interested in experimentation, "but not an imperial-chili-pepper-media-stunt kind of experimentation. [We want] something quieter, geekier, and in dialogue with our regulars. Expect a wide variety, with an emphasis on fermentation-driven styles—saisons, Belgians. And of course, lots of pumpkin peach ale."

The plan is to have 35 seats inside, with an outdoor beer garden in the adjacent parking lot; while the bar won't have a full kitchen, some kind of TBD food offering will be available. Due to permitting and construction hurdles, New Normal likely won't arrive until year's end, but in keeping with his mission, Gilbert is offering the raw space as an ad-hoc gallery for local artists until construction gets underway. New Normal's first gallery opening will be next Saturday, March 21 (starting at 5 pm), and Gilbert will serve some of the brewery's test batches at the event, with all proceeds going to Walk Oakland Bike Oakland. They'll also be serving beer at Youth Alive!'s 25th anniversary dinner on April 30, as well as other events around Oakland; those interested in trying the brews can sign up for their mailing list to receive updates.

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